Members of the Lentegeur Westneighbourhood watch say they will not stop patrolling and working to rid their community of gangsterism and drugs despite their chairwoman Mymoena Pillay facing charges of intimidation.
She appeared in Mitchell’s Plain Magistrate’s Court on Thursday October 10, charged with having allegedly intimidated her neighbour, alleged drug kingpin Fadwaan “Vet” Murphy, in Turksvy Road Lentegeur.
Ms Pillay was arrested on Wednesday October 9, about an hour before the neighbourhood watch meeting was due to start at a field called The Eiland, outside of the house of Mr Murphy.
Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz has appointed a court watching brief unit to attend Ms Pillay’s next appearance on Thursday November 21.
The unit will assess the progress of the matter and provide feedback to Mr Fritz.
His spokeswoman Cayla Murray said alternatively, the clerk of the court would provide the necessary information to the unit which monitors SAPS’ effectiveness and efficiency in investigations.
“It assesses, amongst others, whether dockets arrive at court, witnesses and perpetrators are present and/or forensic evidence is presented.”
She said Mr Fritz had requested that the case be monitored due to its sensitive nature. “The mandate of the Department of Community Safety is oversight of SAPS and would extend to any member of the public,” she said.
Ms Murray confirmed that the neighbourhood watch was accredited and had been approved this year.
During the meeting they had wanted to hand over a memorandum to senior officials at Lentegeur police station, demanding that Mr Murphy be evicted from the area.
The document cites the following reasons for this request: the high incidence of drug-related activity; personal attacks on neighbourhood watch members; and fabricated cases against members of the crime-fighting body.
“We call upon the government, SAPS and the justice system to help eradicate from our community
the scourge of gangsterism and drugs.
“Our community – children, mothers, families and neighbourhood watch members – are suffering at the hands of these thugs. How much more must we endure?”
There was no senior local police officer at the meeting, and residents at the meeting decided that a delegation would take the memo to the police station.
The Plainsman attended the meeting, which started off with participants chanting slogans: “One gangster, one bullet” and “If you strike a woman, you strike a rock” and at which they vowed that they would not be deterred.
“We want a drug-free and gangster-free society,” said neighbourhood watch spokeswoman Raafiqah Ganger.
She said on Monday October 7 a scuffle had broken out at Ms Pillay’s house, during which Ms Pillay’s son-in-law, a neighbourhood watch member, had been injured.
A note attached to the memorandum reads: “The disgusting situation is that Mr Murphy feels the need to instil fear into every person he comes across”.
Before the memorandum hand-over members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and SAPS arrived at Mr Murphy’s door, with two military vehicles.
They came in running as if they were chasing someone but then they surrounded the house.
A military vehicle was about to break down Mr Murphy’s garage door but a police officer barred any damage of property.
A SANDF member then gained access to the property through the roof and occupants of the house opened the door and came out.
Meanwhile Mr Murphy, his ex-wife Shafieka, his sister Glenda Bird, his neighbour Leon Paulsen, Desmond Jacobs, from Rondebosch, and owner of the Lotus River house Dominic Davidson, which was raided and led to their arrests, were due back in the Cape High Court, on Monday October 14.
Mr Murphy’s business Ulterior Trading Solutions, is also listed among the accused.
This is the second year their trial, in which they face 229 charges, including contraventions of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA), conducting an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activities; 16 counts relating to the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act and 24 counts of money laundering.
The State alleges that the seven accused managed the illegal operations and activities of the Murphy enterprise between July 2013 and September 18 2015.